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ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Review

ccokeman    -   August 15, 2013
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ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Testing:

Testing ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme motherboard will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and  AMD Catalyst 13.6 drivers for the XFX HD 7970. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings making this point a valid concern so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Socket 1150

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Overclocking the Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4770K using any of the tool sets included with the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme will in the end give you as high an overclock as your hardware can deliver. Built for the overclocking enthusiast and gamer, the Maximus VI Extreme allows for traditional BIOS based overclocking or using presets in the OC Up tool in the BIOS or by way of the 4-Way optimization tool in ASUS AI Suite III. ASUS has spent a wealth of time ensuring that the auto rules in the BIOS are robust enough for the majority of users. Set the bclock multiplier and cache multiplier you want, massage the voltage to the core (I use manual mode), set the memory multiplier and see if the core will handle the adjustments and deliver the goods. Keep in mind that the uncore or cache ratio and DRAM settings can have an impact on the core's ultimate overclocking results.

Moving on to the 4-Way optimization tool in AISuite III. To use this tool to reach a safe, conservative, usable overclock, all you have to do is click the button and sit back while the tool works its magic. For my CPU the results were a Prime 95 stable 4221MHz reached by setting the core multiplier to 42 with a bclock of 100.5MHz.If you look at the uncore speed on the memory tab in CPUz-Z you can see that the uncore ratio is at 39.

In the BIOS you can use the CPU Level up feature that gives the end user three progressively more aggressive clock speed options, starting with the conservative 4.2GHz seen in the 4-Way tool that jumps to 4.4GHz and 4.6GHz. Each of the options were Prime 95 stable and again you will notice that the uncore ratio is kept at 39, taking any uncore limitations out of the overclocking equation. By doing so ASUS gives the tools the best possible options to succeed with the majority of processors on the market. ASUS took the time to run through tons of processors in its labs to find the mean averages and develop the auto overclocking tools. In my experience this paid off handsomely.

 

 

Manual overclocking is where you are going to find the highest possible speed your chip can run. In this case I can get my 4770K ES to boot and run some benchmarks as high as 4.8GHz but it takes a drop to 4.75 to get through all of the benchmarks, with the x264 benchmark the hardest of the bunch. Knowing what my ES is capable of as far as core voltage and clock speed limitations, I popped in a retail chip that is for the most part a mediocre chip and found tuning it a bit more challenging than the ES. Ultimately it was a 4.55GHz chip that could not run the uncore at higher than 44. However it was able to run this speed using 16GB of 2133MHz rated memory at its native speed and slightly higher. I did not push higher in the interest of things more pressing.

Memory overclocking is just as good or or better with the Maximus VI Extreme as my ES chip easily pushed my 2400MHz rated G.Skill modules to 2600MHz+ speeds. Sadly they won't do any higher so truly testing the top end memory speeds with my chip will have to wait a bit longer. In the DRAM timings section of the BIOS are a wealth of memory configuration presets that wil allow you to get a good baseline before looking to tweak the settings tighter or looser from that point. All things considered you really have the cream of the crop as far as overclocking ability with the Maximus VI Extreme. With top name support from ASUS in house overclocking experts, you can't go wrong.

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed over-clocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing. A mall note that the CPU used on the ASUS P8Z87-Plus differed from the CPU in this review resulting in lower overall overclocked scoring in many of the benchmarks.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2013
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. Crystal Diskmark
  7. ATTO
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Metro: Last Light
  3. DiRT 3



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